EnviroStars Spokane program launches during Pollution Prevention Week

SPOKANE — The successful EnviroStars program, well established in the Puget Sound area, is now available to Spokane County businesses. EnviroStars is a voluntary program that certifies small businesses that have practices and policies in place that reduce hazardous waste and protect the environment.

The EnviroStars program started in King County in 1995 and now more than 700 businesses are participating in Western Washington.

A unique local partnership between government agencies and non-profits started in May 2010 to bring EnviroStars to the Spokane area. Businesses certified by EnviroStars receive public recognition and advertising.

In support of National Pollution Prevention Week, Sept. 20-26, 2010, EnviroStars is highlighting the first round of EnviroStars certified businesses. The following certified businesses make pollution prevention happen every day, by reducing their hazardous wastes as well as reducing emissions into the air. These efforts help to protect the Spokane River, the aquifer and lakes and creeks by preventing pollution from entering the water via runoff from city streets:

* AutoCraft – 16111 E. Sprague Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99037
* Ed’s Premier Auto Body – 2707 E. Francis, Spokane, WA 99208
* Flash’s Auto Body & Paint – 2417 N. Astor, Spokane, WA 99207
* K&M Unibody Works – 2011 N. Park Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99212
* Maaco Spokane Valley – 16011 E. Sprague Ave Spokane Valley, WA 99037
* Martin Motors – 3105 N. Nevada St. Spokane, WA 99207
* Preedy’s Tire & Automotive – 703 E. Pacific Ave. Spokane, WA 99202
* Selkirk Landscape Services – 1910 E. Riverside, Spokane, WA 99202
* Washington Auto Collision – 16811 E. Sprague, Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99037

“Consumers want the choice of shopping at businesses that help keep our community clean,” said Tonilee Hanson, EnviroStar’s Spokane coordinator. “When you see the EnviroStars logo, you know that the business has been certified for doing its part to keep the river, aquifer, air and land clean.”

Qualifying businesses demonstrate their commitment to protect the environment and in turn may gain benefits such as:

* Attracting customers through use of green (sustainable) practices.
* Creating a safer, healthier work environment.
* Increasing efficiency and decreasing costs.
* Strengthening supplier and agency relationships.
* Gaining access to EnviroStars.org business assistance resources.
* Listings in EnviroStars advertising and promotional materials.

For general information visit http://www.envirostars.org. For local information or to apply for certification call (509) 847-4337.

In 2010, a partnership was formed to bring EnviroStars to Spokane County. The local steering committee includes the Washington State Department of Ecology, city of Spokane Solid Waste, Spokane Aquifer Joint Board, Spokane County Utilities Water Resources, Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency, Spokane Regional Health District, Spokane Regional Solid Waste System and the Spokane River Forum.

Here are actions that businesses and households and others can take to prevent pollution:

* Reduce waste – Reduce, reuse and recycle. Use both sides of paper. Use recycled materials. Choose reusable products, such as water bottles and grocery bags.

* Conserve energy – Turn off the lights when room isn’t in use, or install motion detectors to activate lights. Turn the heat down to 68 degrees in winter and air conditioning up to 78 degrees during summer. Weatherize. Replace incandescent lights to compact fluorescent lights. Turn off or unplug electronic equipment when not in use. Bike, bus, walk or share a ride to work. Combine errands into efficient trips. Avoid unnecessary vehicle idling.

* Reduce toxics – Wash vehicles at a car wash. Store products and waste out of the weather, away from drains and on a leak proof surface. Keep wastewater out of storm drains. Buy “green” products with the least toxic ingredients. Sweep (don’t water down) outdoor areas. Don’t dump liquid chemicals into sinks or the garbage. Replace or add coatings to galvanized roofs. Galvanized metal contains zinc, which is very toxic to fish.

* Conserve water – Install efficient toilets, faucets and showerheads. Water gardens in early morning. Plant native species that need less water.

Media Contacts:
* Tonilee Hanson, EnviroStars, 509-847-4337
* Jani Gilbert, Ecology Communications, 509-329-3495; cell, 509-990-9177; e-mail jani.gilbert@ecy.wa.gov.
* Cathy Cochrane, Ecology Communications, 509-329-3433; cell, 509-290-0685; e-mail ccoc461@ecy.wa.gov.

To read about Western Washington EnviroStars program: http://www.envirostars.org/

Ecology’s Web site: http://www.ecy.wa.gov